The United Kingdom has issued a travel advisory to its citizens, cautioning against visiting Kogi, Imo, and Bayelsa states due to off-cycle elections scheduled for November 11. This warning follows a similar alert from the United States about potential threats to hotels in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
In addition to these three states, the UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Office (FCDO) advisory, dated November 4, 2023, also advises against all travel to Borno, Yobe, Adamawa, Gombe, Kaduna, Katsina, Zamfara, as well as the riverine areas of Delta, Rivers, Akwa Ibom, and Cross River states.
This advisory arises amidst heightened concerns regarding the potential for violence during the upcoming gubernatorial elections. Previous elections have witnessed reports of intimidation, violence, and voter fraud, despite the Independent National Electoral Commission’s commitment to conducting a free and fair election. Security analysts continue to express concerns about the elevated risk of violence.
To enhance security, the Nigerian government has deployed additional security forces to the three states and has called on political parties to refrain from making inflammatory statements and to respect the electoral process. Travellers are also advised to avoid large gatherings and crowded public places and to register with their nearest embassy or consulate for emergency contact purposes.